The Supermom Mentality: Me, Myself, and I
Another component of the Supermom Mentality is the belief that I can never take a break. If I take 15 minutes for myself, go shopping with some friends for a day, or actually go on a date with my husband, somehow my children will be ruined for life. Life I tell you. They need me, me, and only me, all the time you know. No one else can pour their glass of milk the same, or read their favorite storybook quite like me. What if someone puts the emphasis on the wrong sentence of their favorite book?!? There could be lifelong consequences to that! Counseling . . . there would be counseling bills for sure over that . . .
And if Gator’s bottle isn’t warmed to just the right temperature, his future wife will probably hold his head someday while he sobs because I let him down. More counseling right there. I am going to have to open a saving account for counseling bills . . .
It sounds a little ridiculous, doesn’t it? Yet, this is how many of us truly feel. We wouldn’t ever admit to these reasons, but we frequently refuse to take time to refresh ourselves because our children need us, us, and only us.
In all honesty, this is a huge struggle of mine. When it comes to my children, it is a major struggle to trust anyone else to care for them—even my husband who is absolutely wonderful!
Remember my post about sleep? I need sleep sometimes . . . and my hubby has literally begged me to go take a nap because I desperately need sleep after being up all night with the baby—but I argue, and fight, and refuse because someone might need a glass of milk. Surely all of life could collapse if I am not the one to pour it.
We’re a little crazy, aren’t we?
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. -Luke 5:16
That. That right there shatters all of my excuses.
Surely, if there was anyone in the history of the world who should definitely NOT have taken some time away, it was Jesus.
Literally, life as we know it could have ended. And that is no exaggeration! He was God incarnate . . . yet, He took personal time away from the demands of life.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. -Matthew 14:13
My excuses, blown away again. There was no one who could just "step in and be Jesus" for a bit while he withdrew . . . but He still withdrew. Not just once, but many times. There were people who wanted Him, people who needed Him even . . . yet He withdrew.
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. -Matthew 8:24
. . . do you hear the crickets chirping on your excuses too?
“But Jesus was sleeping.” He could have been teaching. He could have calmed the storm the instant it came upon the boat. He could have been praying. He could have been serving. He could have been exercising. He could have been baking the best dinner the disciples had ever eaten. How could He even have trusted His disciples alone for those moments? They needed Him, the entire world needed Him.
Yet, He withdrew. He went away. He slept.
I don’t know the exact reasons Jesus withdrew and slept, and Scripture doesn’t give us the specifics. But if I had to guess, I would say that Jesus withdrew and yes, even slept, because . . . He was fully human. As such, He got tired, worn, exhausted, weary, and perhaps even overwhelmed.
He was busy and desired—someone always wanted Him, someone always needed Him. Someone always wanted Him to talk, to touch, to heal, to do, to be . . . the crowds followed Him everywhere and placed demands upon Him constantly.
Jesus needed time to unwind, to process, to pray, to recharge, and even to sleep. Perhaps He had us in mind as He fell asleep in that boat. Perhaps He saw you and I sitting here exhausted and overwhelmed, with tired eyes and tired hearts. Perhaps His heart ached as He saw the burdens we place upon ourselves to do and to be 24/7, 365. Perhaps He slept and withdrew . . . so that we would know that it is ok for us to do the same.
Dear momma friend, if Jesus Himself took time away, withdrew, and even slept, why do you hold yourself to a superhuman standard? If the world didn’t end while Jesus found solitude, it won’t end when you do either.
We are human and we need time to refresh, decompress, to process, to pray, to sleep, to fellowship. There is nothing wrong with us when we need that time; nor does it mean we are failures as mothers. It simply means . . . we are human.
May I encourage you to let go of the supermom mentality and allow yourself to just be human? Allow yourself to take a break, to laugh with friends, to pursue a hobby that brings you joy, and to sleep. The world won’t end, and the children will be fine; even if the story isn’t read exactly the way you do it. Go gather fresh strength, dear momma friend. Jesus did . . . and it's ok for you to do the same.
Read the next post in The Supermom Mentality series here